The Gambia: Profile: Gambia’s Lawyer Ousainou Darboe

August 4, 2016

Ousainou Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP).

Ousainou Darboe has risen from being a human rights lawyer to becoming the symbol of resistance against government repression in the Gambia.

As a veteran lawyer, he is credited to have saved the lives of over 200 Gambians including the late Sherriff Mustapha Dibba of the opposition National Convention Party (NCP) and Pap Cheyassin Secka, a lawyer, both of whom were charged with treason for their alleged involvement in the 1981 failed uprising against the erstwhile Jawara regime.

As a jurist, Mr Darboe also successfully represented a large majority of those detained under the various emergency powers regulations promulgated by the then PPP government of ex-president Jawara.

Not happy with the murder of his executive member, Mr Darboe led a peaceful protest to seek answers from the authorities but was confronted by armed security officers who fired tear gas and live ammunition at them.

Over 20 people including Mr Darboe were arrested and charged with various offences including unlawful assembly, riot, riotously interfering with traffic, holding a procession without a license and disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession.

They were refused bail and remanded at the Mile Two prisons. After three months of detention, Mr Darboe and his supporters were sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty by a high court judge.


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